General Submission Guidelines

We normally open for submissions for our annual print Issue on May 1st, but we’re going to delay for a little while the magazine undergoes some restructuring. Check back for details soon!

Hello! If you’re reading this before submitting to Hunger Mountain, welcome (& good for you, friend)!

These are guidelines for what we seek to include in our magazine in order to support our mission, which is to exalt traditionally silenced voices, to expand representation in literature, & to examine with a critical eye. We pursue this mission through the work we both solicit & select from submissions.

We want writing that explores, questions, & challenges. We want writing that remains open. We want work that thinks about what it’s trying to do for others & the world.

We are here to champion writing that upsets systems of power & dominance. Our magazine isn’t going to destroy the cis-heteronormative white-supremacist ableist patriarchy. But we are going to try, & we seek to celebrate art that is trying alongside us.

Above all, we seek work that is self-aware & avoids the risk of harm. We hold the intention of including all, especially those who have been most excluded from society & from literature. Our paramount values are transparency & consent. No writer sets out to do harm. But because we believe that writing has ramifications in the world, we want the people who submit to us to consider the repercussions their work has on those reading it.

Writing submitted to us will be thoroughly & open-heartedly read by at least two members of our community, & unlike many literary journals we reserve roughly 50% of each issue for unsolicited work. Because we value the wellbeing of our editors (who in turn value the wellbeing of our readers), we request content warnings & recommend sensitivity readers. If you don’t have a sensitivity reader, or don’t know what that is, & feel you might need one, you can find more information here & here. Content warnings also help us get your work into the hands of readers best able to meet it on its own terms. These requests will change as our editorial board changes. We appreciate your including these content warnings with your submission:

  • violence & abuse—including sexual, toward children, & toward animals
  • racism
  • tragedies in marginalized communities
  • suicide
  • mental health issues
  • loss & grief
  • hate speech or slurs
  • medical trauma

We find genre categories more useful for readers than for writers. We use them here—we publish fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for young adults & children, hybrid work, & translations of all of these forms—to help get your work into the hands of the people best able to meet it on its own terms. We welcome work that is genre-less, & the traditional genres some magazines shun—yes, that means we want more speculative fiction! We don’t believe in the divide between literary & genre fiction. We want to read your science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, ecofabulism, irrealism, slipstream, sure we’ll take a look at your Western, please surprise us with some Romance that isn’t cheesy, & we’d love some Limericks & ghazals & golden shovels while you’re at it. 

We want more humor! We take ourselves seriously, yes, but we also love writing that doesn’t take the world so seriously all of the time.

Please submit prose of no more than 8,000 words, or up to three flash pieces all in one document; for poetry, 1-5 poems all in one file. 

While a cover letter is not required, feel free to submit one along with your work. If you chose to include one, in it please tell us whatever we need to know about you & how you identify in order to meet your work on its own terms. We care more about why you wrote this piece & why you’re sending it specifically to us than we care about any credentials. 

While we have no problem with simultaneous submissions, if your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. For us, this means within 24 hours in most cases. Please withdraw through Submittable, not by sending us an email. 

Anyone who is not a current student in our residential MFA in Writing & Publishing may submit to our magazine—this includes alumnx of W&P, & current students in any of VCFA’s low-residency programs.    

Our reading fee allows us to pay our Editors & Contributors. We understand that this means we are supported by the people who wish to be in our pages, & we are grateful for that support, & seek to be worthy of your trust. 

Hunger Mountain accepts translations of fiction, literary nonfiction, plays, poetry, & works that fall somewhere in between. We are interested in publishing translated works that do not fit neatly into established categories. 

Upon publication, we will ask translators to prepare a translator’s note (of less than 1000 words) that contextualizes the work &/or discusses the translation process. 

To be considered for publication, translation submissions must include: 

  • Both the source text & the translation in a standard format other than PDF—we would like to be able to copy & paste the work.  
  • Short biographies (50-100 words) of both the author & the translator.
  • All relevant rights & permissions for publication of the text & the translation from the author &/or rightsholder(s).

Submissions without all three of these components will not be considered for publication. 

Please follow genre requirements above, including collating your entire submission in a single document & including your name, the work’s title, & the fact that it is a translation in the file name (i.e. name_title_translation).

Thank you for sharing our pursuit to elevate the best of today’s literature. 


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